After the massacre in Las Vegas, one church saw an opportunity to minister and share God’s love in a time of horror.
Hope Church is a growing multi-ethnic congregation that attracts 3,000 people each weekend.
Vance Pitman, the founder and senior pastor said: “This is the day when we get the opportunity to really rise up and serve the city and love the city and demonstrate the love of God for the city.”
Pitman only learned of the magnitude of the killings at a country music concert when he awoke Monday morning but he quickly assembled his staff to sketch out the beginning of a response.
The church called in all of its 15 pastors to be on hand as it opened its doors as a safe space for prayer and counseling, and, if needed, a shelter for anyone dislocated as a result of the shooting at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
It urged its members to donate blood and worked to get a mobile blood unit on the church grounds to help with the effort.
Pitman had several phone conversations with police and other law enforcement officials to let chaplains and officers know the church was ready, willing and able to provide physical and emotional support to anyone in need.
The church, which is located about 13 miles from the site of the shooting sees its mission as being a blessing to the city.
Pitman said, “We believe the church is to serve the city. That’s why the church exists.”
Hope Church, which affiliates with the Southern Baptist Convention, takes that mission seriously. The church has 45 families undergoing training to become foster parents. It is developing initiatives to fight human trafficking in the city and is working to improve local public education.